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Couple die as construction work breaks gas line

A HUANGPU District couple were killed by a gas leak caused by pipeline damage during the reconstruction of a floodwall, officials said yesterday.

The man and wife were found in bed unconscious by their 20-year-old son when he returned from work at about 7pm on Tuesday.

The father, 59-year-old Sha Jinbao, was confirmed dead at the scene. His wife, Tao Dingxian, 56, died at Changzheng Hospital around 2am yesterday.

Their deaths were the result of "heavy burdens" that cracked neighborhood gas pipes and allowed fumes to seep into the couple's ground-floor apartment on Suzhou Road S., according to Tang Yichun, an official in the safety service department of the Shanghai Gas Company.

Tang agreed with residents who said they believed a temporary wall and heavy stone material placed beside the building for reconstruction of a Suzhou Creek flood barrier had caused the accident.

Residents of the building were told to open their windows before they were evacuated at about 4am yesterday. The building remained cordoned off late yesterday for investigation and repair work, but residents were allowed back inside after the gas supply was shut off.


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